Flat roofing vs Pitched Roofing

Planning for home improvement is an exciting time, whether you’re looking to build an extension, a new garage or an outbuilding. One of the big factors you have to consider is what type of roof you are going to use on your project. 

Generally, there is a choice between a flat roof and a pitched roof. This decision can have a profound impact on the result of the project, as well as impact ongoing maintenance and performance. More often than not, the decision is made for you – you may have a project in which you only have the space to install a flat roof for example. 

However, if you have a choice, it’s important to weigh up the pros and cons of each option to ensure you’re fully aware of the type of roof that’d work best for you. Let’s look at the two options so you can decide which works best for you moving forward.  

Flat Roof

A flat roof, as the name suggests, is a roof that is typically level; however, there is a misconception that flat roofs are 100% flat. Depending on the project, flat roofs sometimes have an incline to so that the rain water can drain off and also to prevent leaks. However, sometimes, the roof is completely flat in situations in which the roof will be walked on. So what are the pros and cons of a flat roof?


  • The slight slope still allows rainwater to drain, whilst also offering the appealing ‘flat’ aesthetic.
  • Flat roofs are often the cheapest option of the two due to the simplicity of the roof in comparison to pitched roofing.
  • Flat roofs are also versatile and practical, as people are able to scale them if needed.
  • They take less head height than pitched roof which can help to meet planning permission requirements for extensions.
  • You can make customisations to them to really maximise light and space.
  • Flat roofing materials have been much improved over the years. For example, Alwitra roofing systems are single ply solutions that are hardwearing, waterproof, durable and weather resistant and so offer a robust solution. 
  • Some flat roofing options can be walked on providing the foundations meet regulations, opening up additional usable space on the property. 


Now, flat roofs are not without their disadvantages, and you need to be aware of these before you can make the right decision.

  • Whilst reputable companies guarantee the lifespan of a flat roof for 20 to 30 years, they generally have a shorter lifespan than their pointed counterparts, and they typically require more maintenance and upkeep. 
  • Some types of extension or construction ideas will not be possible with a flat roof, and this is something to look into in advance. 

Pitched Roof

Pitched roofs are typically seen in housing projects but are increasingly a popular option for extensions and outbuildings should the space allow for them. They are favoured for their waterproof and durability qualities. Here are some of the things to consider if you want to go for a pitched roof for your project. 


  • A pitched roof will give the best possible drainage that you can get.
  • A pitched roof will offer greater longevity, resulting in less maintenance than flat roofs.
  • They’re built to withstand adverse weather conditions such as snow, water, ice or high winds – they’re very resistant.
  • Future buyers may prefer a pitched roof as this means that they’re not as likely to need to spend on repairs. 
  • Very aesthetically appealing, improving the way your home looks and your curb appeal!
  • Pitched roofs are essential for maximising the space for loft conversions. Higher ceilings or roof pitches equal more usable space.  
  • A pitched roof will allow for better thermal insulation, resulting in a warmer or more pleasant room as well as significant energy savings. 


  • Perhaps the biggest cons of pitched roofs is the fact that they are more expensive than flat roofs, and they typically tend to take longer to install. The increased labour and additional materials can increase initially outlay, but you do largely get what you pay for with this type of roofing option.
  • You may not get planning permission for a pitched roof. There are likely to be height restrictions so check with your local planning authority.
  • Repairs are perhaps more expensive due to access issues and the specialist work needed to fix complex issues. 

As you can see, both of these roof styles have advantages and disadvantages. Your decision will largely depend on the type of project, the restrictions imposed on you and your personal preference. For example, if you’re planning to live in your house for a long period of time, you may not be as adverse to spending a bit more on a pitched roof. With that said, there are many flat roofing options that look excellent and offer great longevity. View our range of flat roofing options here for more information. 

Or are you looking to replace your roof in Surrey? Get in touch with A Wilson Roofing today! We serve all areas in Surrey from Addlestone and Guildford to Walton on Thames and Weybridge

Happy Customers

Michal SprzonczakMichal Sprzonczak
13:07 25 Apr 24
This is not the first time we have used AWilson' Roofing services. As usual, the project was completed on time, the employees were very helpful and friendly and Cristian, with whom I usually cooperate, always offers good advice. I will definitely use AWilson Roofing for my next project.
mark millaismark millais
22:35 12 Mar 24
Really impressed with the quality of the work and the professionalism efficiency and politeness of the tradesmen
Penny MelrosePenny Melrose
14:13 07 Dec 22
This is at least the third time I’ve used A Wilson Roofing and, yet again, they did an excellent job. This time the work was to replace a skylight in a loft and since the property was mid terrace, everything had to be carried through the house (including the needed scaffolding). The work was prioritised because the old skylight was leaking and the carrying through of scaffolding and gear, and all the work went smoothly. This was much appreciated as this is a tenanted property, and my tenants are good people.I asked A Wilson to do this work not only because they do a good job – but also because they have skilled sensible people managing their teams of roofers and scaffolders. This makes it easy to have realistic conversations about the work and expectations and I don’t end up trying/failing to micromanage the actual workers. That means a lot to me.
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12:31 07 Dec 22
We had a newly built pitched roof over our small front extension / garage conversion back in September. The team from A Wilson (Cristian in particular) were incredibly flexible and helped guide and advise us to ensure we got what we wanted. They were reliable and I would recommend them to anyone considering roof or small building works.
Jo KitsonJo Kitson
15:12 02 Dec 22
New roof for swimming pool completed efficiently and area left very tidy. Great comms too.
Paul WellsPaul Wells
17:51 12 Oct 22
The A Wilson Roofing replaced the lead valleys on the apex to the front our house after an ongoing leak we were experiencing.The whole team were a great to deal with from Kylie in the office, the estimator, installation team and even their scaffolders were nice guys.They produced a quotation, put up scaffold, carried out the repairs and off hired the scaffolding in a week and a half, thats pretty impressive work!These will be our go to roofers from now on.
Amy TyneAmy Tyne
16:02 23 Jun 22
Really happy with the work, A Wilson Roofing did a brilliant roof renewal. Amazing and professional team, couldn’t recommend them more.
Tracy KopickiTracy Kopicki
08:38 15 Jun 22
Super efficient, friendly team, keeping us well informed as the work progressed. Extremely tidy too !!
Jerry WinderJerry Winder
20:46 16 May 22
Good Professional service, even took away rubbish!
John WhitewickJohn Whitewick
16:52 17 Mar 22
Very professional, thorough and friendly. Kept informed through the journey from inspection, quotation and work carried out. The workmen were very tidy and informative of the actions they were taking. I have no problem in recommending A. Wilson Services.
William RhodesWilliam Rhodes
14:30 17 Mar 22
I was recommended to this company and was not disappointed. From the prompt inspection of the roof damage to sending me the quote (the following day) they were extremely professional, informative and friendly. The work carried out was of a very high standard and was completed within the timeframe they had quoted.I would definitely use them again and would have no hesitation in recommending them.
Vana ParkerVana Parker
11:48 03 Feb 22
We were so pleased with the repair to our 100 year old roof. Super professional team producing high quality work. Highly recommended.
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Your house is usually your biggest investment in life – so why risk it! A Wilson Roofing, Surrey hold full Public Liability and full Employers Liability insurance on all contracts, large or small. This is a very important point to consider when deciding which roofing contractor to use and we are happy to provide copies of our current certificate.

If you’re looking for a quality roofer in Surrey, get in contact with us today.

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